National Geographics Shows Its Gamer Side, Launches Video Game Series

family playing video game photo

Photo via Neeta Lind

National Geographics is launching into video games, something we're a bit surprised hasn't already happened considering the teaching potential behind them. The games have been built in conjunction with recent articles and television programs launched by the nature icon.

The first game is already available and more are on their way. But, has National Geographics captured the potential behind them - are they worth the electricity put into playing them?Already available for computers and the iPhone is "Herod's Lost Tomb" - a find-the-lost-object game revolving around a story in the December issue and TV show. Later in the month, for Nintendo DS, will be "National Geographic: Panda" in which the gamer essentially has to raise a panda. More upcoming titles include "Rain Forests," "Greencity," and "National Geographic: Africa."

"Our content is extremely well-suited for a global gaming audience," said Paul Levine, a National Geographic executive who will lead the new games division. The games will be drawn from a broad range of content and themes across National Geographic's properties.

Those are very tempting titles, especially for big National Geographics fans. And the variety is sure to capture a wide audience. Yet what makes these games worth the energy put in to them? Gaming, after all, takes electricity. National Geographics of course is a huge source for quality information and teaching tools for the world around us. So the games will be quality tools as well, right?

While the games seek to offer "entertainment with substance," Levine said he does not expect them to be used in schools. "They are games, first and foremost," he said.

Not too reassuring that they are a cut above popular time-wasters.

We're all for games that teach people about the environment and have an impact on how people view and treat the world outside their windows. Hopefully, these games - especially coming from such a natural world giant as National Geographics - will live up to that. Though the emphasis on the gaming element rather than the educational element has us worried.

If you do want to play, check out some greener gaming tips.

More on Gaming:
Emerald Island: Eco-Themed Gaming for Kids
Electrocity: Teaching Kids to Manage Energy, Human Needs Responsibly Through Gaming
SimCity, the Green Energy Edition: Website Unveils Alternative Energy Educational Video Game
Teaching Kids to Respect Earth Through Gameplay

Related Content on